Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE
Checking a few items off the old list following a delightful weekend of college football.
If it's Monday it's time to review the things we'll now need to do as a result of the weekend that was in college football.
But first, a word. You're right, Gator fans. The Georgia defense is full of dirty, rotten cheaters. Cheaters who commit all kinds of heinous acts like "tackling with aggression." Deion Sanders finds this reprehensible. If only they were all upstanding citizens like Brandon Spikes or Jonotthan "Chopblock" Harrison. Or the guy who pulled Blake Sailors' helmet off in the pile and bloodied his nose. Really, I am so ashamed to root for the football team that has beaten Wilfred Muschump's Gators 2 years running and done it by not being nice.
As no less a Gator than my SB Nation colleague Spencer Hall noted after the 2007 Cocktail Party (and I'm paraphrasing Jarvis Jones-style here, which is to say "mercilessly and with a heart full of rage"), classiness is the last refuge of those who just got clobbered like a baby seal in a game whose baseline objective is clobbering people like a baby seal. When you fail at the objective at hand, just go ahead and change to a different objective. The new Gator objective is the old Bulldog objective, which is being a better class of person than the opposition, who would be dismayed to learn of their personal shortcomings if they weren't so busy celebrating their victory. Congratulations, Gator Nation. You and your football team are such good people.
Now that that's out of the way, in no particular order we're gonna need to:
For the love of God, find someone to tackle Malcolm Mitchell in the endzone. Really, the guy just has one speed on kickoff returns, and it's "Run Forrest! Run!" It's hard to find guys willing to heedlessly throw themselves upfield in that position, much less guys with the athleticism of Malcolm Mitchell. But at some point the kid has to figure out which half of the endzone is the front and which is the back and that when he catches the ball closer to the back of it than the front even he should just take a knee.
Refer to Aaron Murray as "Tommy Tryhard" until further notice. I want to be fair here. Aaron Murray deserves immense credit for coming back out and playing a solid 4th quarter. You know how bad his first half was. In the 3rd quarter he was 3 of 9 for 33 yards, but at least he didn't turn it over. Merely ineffective beats catastrophic every day of the week in my book. But then during the 4th quarter drive culminating in Malcolm Mitchell's touchdown he was 4 of 6 for 80 yards, more than half of his total for the game. That was clutch.
That being said, from the 2010 Florida game to the 2012 South Carolina game, Murray has a clear pattern 35 games into his career as the Bulldog QB. He just doesn't have that preternatural calm that David Greene did. Admittedly, few do. But 35 games in, you are the sum total of your resume. In sum, Georgia continues to win what big games it does win anymore in spite of Aaron Murray's performance, not because of it.
I hate that, because I desperately want to be an Aaron Murray fan. But I'm going to need to see him come out and execute in a marquee game before I can really do it. Murray is going to leave Athens as perhaps the most statistically dominant signal caller in Bulldog history. But if you gave Georgia fans a choice between 427 yards passing against Kentucky or 2 steady, prolonged early drives against South Carolina to staunch the bleeding and arrest the fall the 'Dawgs never recovered from, it would be an easy choice.
Marvel once again at Hurricane Jarvis. Xavier Nixon was going to have his hands full with Jones from the outset. Once he tweaked his knee with a little help from fellow Gator Jonathan Harris, it was over. 13 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries is a dominant day no matter how you look at it. Without doubt, Gator fans will not remember him fondly. I on the other hand think every Bulldog fan should have a shrine to him in their living room now.
Point out to the ESPN talking heads that "5-18" is going to be the stupidest thing they say in 362 days. What's more relevant is that since "The Celebration" Georgia is 3-3 in Jacksonville. Pardon my French, but who gives a double dog damn about what happened in this series before the guys currently playing in it were even born? Obviously the guys who do 15 minutes of research for Game Day.
Winning against the Gators never gets old, but this one was special at least in part because the Gators lost the way Georgia used to in this series: by playing an epically bad game at the worst possible time. The fact that Aaron Murray played perhaps the worst half of football of his Bulldog career, Georgia was penalized something like 38 times for 285 yards, and dropped passes Terrance Edwards-style at least twice yet still won had a very 2001-2006 feel to it.
For years the 'Dawgs did just enough to lose in this series. For the second year in a row they did just enough to win. It was uglier than Abe Vigoda in a speedo at times. But that doesn't make the Gator tears any less sweet.
Talk about Notre Dame. I don't want to necessarily, but they are clearly a part of the national dialogue now. That win over Oklahoma wasn't as dominating as the final score indicates, but it was a solid win over a good team nonetheless.
Stop making fun of Auburn. Really it's just sad at this point. Does that mean the WarPlainsTigerEagles won't jump up and bite the Bulldogs in the rear on November 10th? No, and in fact I may be even more worried now because of the potential for our players to believe Auburn is too bad to beat them. Because that's never the case.